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Mike, thanks for the explaination of the picture-disk LPs. I always wondered how they were made. 
Just looked at Heart "Magazine" from the late 70s and there does indeed appear to be a black core 
with printed pictures and then a think clear layer with the actual grooves in it. You'd have to make 
a complete 12" disk to get the picture right, no? And then press the grooves, maybe at lower heat 
and pressure?

Regarding what Aaron was talking about, there's some talk in the audiophile world about alleged 
magnetic properties to the black pigments used in vinyl (although I note that no one has produced 
any measurements of the alleged magnetic fields, nor proven that if they exist, they are strong 
enough to effect the performance of a phono cartridge). There are many-bux machines to "demagnetize" 
records and a couple of audio gurus have made public claims of "hearing a difference" once a record 
has been "demagnetized." Long way around, that's why some companies now press on un-colored vinyl, 
to not use the allegedly magnetic black pigments. However, I find that all non-black LPs are harder 
to use because the between-songs bands are much harder to locate. I should also note that I have 
both black and white vinyl copies of the Crystal Clear D2D Virgil Fox records and the black vinyl is 
actually quieter.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 5:57 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] The Color of Vinyl in 2012


Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Are the colored vinyls more noisy than black like the picture disks used to be back in the 80s?

From: Aaron Levinson <[log in to unmask]>
> Tom I have not noticed the noisy colored vinyl effect found on the old picture discs you 
> mentioned.

The problem with noisy picture discs concerned only one type of disc,
and then only one side of those discs.  There are several ways picture
discs were made.  If the disc used a central core printed on both sides
with a blob of clear vinyl placed under and over it in the press, the
result will be a very quiet disc but slightly fuzzy pictures on both
sides with a clear rim.  Another style used a preformed black vinyl core
with a printed sheet on both sides and just a thin layer of clear vinyl
on one side and a thicker layer on the other.  The thin layer had a
clearer picture but more noise.  The rims will be black.

> These all seem to sound pretty good overall though in the ultra high end
> 45 rpm market I see many that are uncolored and contain no pigmentation
> whatsoever. The 4 LP single sided 45 rpm, 200 gram reissue of Blue Train
> is on translucent pigment free vinyl and it sounds astonishing.

There is a possibility that colored and clear vinyl pressings are using
virgin vinyl because any impurities will be visible.  The only reused
vinyl must be the exact same color.  It could be edge-trims from early
pressings in the batch mixed in as the pressing continues.  Black
pressings can use older reused vinyl without visual notice.

I have also noticed that mixed-color pressings are equally quiet as the
stylus passes over each different color.  This also includes the splash
shellac pressings on Pathe in the mid-20s with black and red shellac,
and the Aeolian-Vocalion pressings that had 4 to 6 colors.  The
different colored shellac did not deteriorate or wear at different
rates.  This proves that the 35 cent red Perfects were as good as the
identical 75 cent Pathe laterals.

Mike Biel  mbiel.com